The 60 best Ozzy Osbourne songs of all time

40. All My Life (Ordinary Man, 2020)

Love ballads were seldom Ozzy's strong suit. Instead, when it comes to the softer side of the singer's repertoire, the magic so often comes from the more reflective and personal lyrics, even if such songs are so often offered via the medium of a character. Even so, there are poignant lines in All My Life that feel like they truly belong to Ozzy himself, reflections of a man in his seventh decade who has seen friends fall away in recent years and knows the end must surely be nigh. 

39. I Ain't No Nice Guy (Motorhead - March Or Die, 1992)

Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy and Slash walk into a recording studio. It's not a joke (well, depending on how you feel about ballads), but the actual set-up that saw Motorhead record I Ain't No Nice Guy for their 1992 record, March or Die. Considering the previous collaboration between Ozzy and Lemmy on No More Tears had yielded the likes of Mama, I'm Coming Home, I Don't Wanna Change The World, Hellraiser and Desire, there was a clear sense of magic to the team-up and this Motorhead ballad managed to recapture the spirit, if only a little. 

38. Breakin' All The Rules (No Rest For The Wicked, 1988)

Ozzy's career was in a strange place as the end of the 80s closed in. Even then, LA's glam metal scene was beginning to show signs of bloat and oversaturation, Penelope Spheeris' Decline Of Western Civilisation: The Metal Years documentary showing just sorry a state metal's biggest stars were in, Ozzy included. Yet, despite it all Ozzy was still an undeniable star, his music still drawing arenas full of fans every night. Breakin' All The Rules might not be the biggest anthem in Ozzy's repertoire, but it showed he was still fighting to stay on top even as the changing of the guard approached, still capable of churning out bona fide heavy metal anthems. 

37. Stillborn (Black Label Society - The Blessed Hellride, 2003)

After returning to Ozzy Osbourne's band in 2001, Zakk Wylde nonetheless still forged ahead with side project Black Label Society. It says something about just how integral Wylde's style of playing had become for the Ozzy Osbourne sound that even away from the band his songs had a distinctive Ozzy twang, so it was only natural he'd bring in the boss for a guest-spot on 2003 single Stillborn. The result is a powerful, stomping heavy metal tune that ranks among the best Ozzy produced in the 2000s, even if he is only a guest star. 

36. Rock 'n' Roll Rebel (Bark At The Moon, 1983)

Now this is more like it - given room to manoeuvre, Jake E. Lee shows off exactly what he can do, reinjecting the panache that fans had come to expect from Ozzy's solo output. Lyrically, the song tackled some of the controversies Oz was caught up with at the time, not least battles with the PMRC [though admittedly it was Dee Snider that did much of the fighting] and accusations of satanism. But as Ozzy himself says here - 'They say I worship the devil/why don't they open their eyes?/I'm just a rock 'n' roll rebel'.

35. Waiting For Darkness (Bark At The Moon, 1983)

The best moments of Bark At The Moon come when Ozzy is moving away from the more arena-y moments a la Blizzard and Diary of a Madman and instead playing up to the devilish image represented on the album cover. Waiting For Darkness is pure horror theatre, its synths and stabbing strings over the solo feeling like a headlong plunge into Thriller territory (a wise move, considering just how much of a success Michael Jackson's own horror-inclined record proved to be). 

34. Killer Of Giants (The Ultimate Sin, 1987)

Originally the title-track for the album that would become The Ultimate Sin, Killer Of Giants moves away from the stadium rock flair found elsewhere in Ozzy's canon to instead go down a more classical heavy metal route. The synth section of the song that kicks off around the 4-minute mark suggests creative ambitions that stretched almost towards prog territory, pushing Ozzy's stylistic boat out in a satisfying way that begs the question of what direction the material would have took if Jake E. Lee remained in the Ozzy band going forwards.

33. Let Me Hear You Scream (Scream, 2010)

Its parent album Scream may have been a commercial disappointment, but there's no denying that lead single Let Me Hear You Scream was an absolute belter. In fact, so far as Ozzy's harder rocking songs of the 21st Century go, Let Me Hear You Scream is about as close to nailing the anthemic bombast of his youth as Ozzy has got, interim guitarist Gus G showing he wouldn't be engulfed by the towering shadow of on-again-off-again guitarist Zakk Wylde.

32. Crazy Babies (No Rest For The Wicked, 1988)

Cemented around a chunky riff from Zakk Wylde, Crazy Babies almost feels as though it belongs on No Rest For The Wicked's 1991 follow-up No More Tears, fitting in perfectly alongside the likes of I Don't Wanna Change The World and Desire. What it does show is that even when he was barely through the doors, Wylde was already having an impact on the shape of Ozzy's material. 

31. Desire (No More Tears, 1991)

Compared to the ploddy crisis of creativity Ozzy suffered in the mid-80s, his first two releases with Zakk Wylde as co-pilot in the songwriting department feel like a rocket taking off. Going in to write No More Tears, Ozzy insisted that the band tackle every single song on the record like it could be a radio hit - and why not, rock'n'roll was still big business in the early 90s after all. Desire shows just how much that approach paid off, roaring to life and reminding people why Ozzy was one of metal's biggest names in the first place. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.